SULLIVAN’S ISLAND, S.C. (WCBD) – Members of the Charleston Beach Foundation believe the Town of Sullivan’s Island has eliminated visitor parking over the last year, while town officials say no changes have been made.

“Golf Cart Parking Only” signs on island side streets are the point of concern for the group, which claims those spots are meant for cars.

“They’ve implemented golf-cart-only parking, which is residential-only parking,” says Michael Barnett, who authored a petition to defund Charleston’s barrier islands due to what he believes is a lack of public access.

He also says that illegal encroachments in state rights of way are reducing public spaces.

“Then they make the other side of the road where there are generally no obstructions the side of the road where they eliminate parking,” says Barnett. “They eliminate it on one side or another for safety reasons.”

He says state leaders need to step in and address the concerns.

“The State of South Carolina’s constitution protects the rights of citizens of this state to access and enjoy the beach,” says Barnett.

Town Administrator Andy Benke provided News 2 a statement that says in-part “where golf cart parking is instituted would not allow for motor vehicle parking based changes to parking over the last year.” Benke says the parking layout is designed to give emergency vehicles access to pass through.

Barnett is hopeful the department of transportation will make changes to the right of way and island parking based on growing concerns. The group says it’s been in contact with SCDOT.

“And I think the DOT needs to take action to reverse huge numbers of spots they have eliminated,” says Barnett. “And the people who live on that island, if they have a problem with it, they can move.”

The town says it would be happy to change any issues identified by the state and says so far SCDOT has not informed them of issues.